Wednesday, August 24, 2016

He calls me Blessed...and I choose to believe! :)

Jesus said:  “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One dearest to you. “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. ” -(Mathew 5:1-16 )
“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do. . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this. - (Luke 6:22-23)

-The Message Bible (MSG)

Sparky laurie

Monday, August 22, 2016

I was made to worship , I was made to bless your name

Hi friends,

Often we wonder whether to do something or not. As long as you are sure it is the Lord speaking to you, I'd say go for it. If you don't you will grieve the Holy Spirit and that is the worst kind of suffering of all. Go ahead step out in faith , do what God is telling you to. But always be humble, simple and display Christ likeness in your behavior. As long as you are finely tuned with the Father's heart, you can never go wrong.

Let me share the songs that I love.

Remember always we are made to Worship our Maker, not people, not self ,not even the Ministry. With eyes on Jesus from start to finish, Christianity is a piece of cake!
Sing along....

Do not ever grieve the Spirit by focusing on anyone else. We just need to focus on Jesus and if we are right with Him, don't bother what anyone else thinks. Like I always said, I don't have all the answers coz I'm just like you, only that my hardships drew me to search and know Him more intimately than many of us, but that is for everyone else. That's the way the Father loves it for all His children to sit on His lap and hear His voice and look with His eyes. So go ahead swerve neither left nor right as long as you are in tune with the Father's heart, abandon yourself to Him like David did in the Bible and let His name be glorified !

Do keep us in your prayers,
Love n prayers,
Sparky laurie

Bless the Lord O my soul !

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Importance of Family Prayer

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”- Joshua 24:15

Hi Friends,

Today I felt the Lord leading us to learn about the importance of family prayer in our homes. The family is the basic unit of the Society. If we are to grow as effective disciples of Jesus, that must start first at home.The enemy always tries to separate the family members because He knows that there is power in unity when the different members come together. So make sure you set apart a suitable time everyday when all the members of your family could assemble together. The father is the head of the family unit just as Christ is the Head of the Church. The wife must submit to her husband as long as what He says in line with the Word of God. (1 Peter 3:1-7) Children submit to the parents.(Eph 6:1,2) If there is no family prayer already, take the initiative to start one. God always expects us to work as one unit. It is the Lord who has selected our family for us and we need to pray together in order to stay together no matter what storms come in our life.

Here are some guidelines. Feel free to do it in your unique way. Each family is special to God. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
1)Start with a few songs. Invite the Holy Spirit to come to your house.
2)Make sure to teach the kids small choruses and memory verses.
3)Then the Father could select a particular portion and read from the Bible. Best is to go acc to Bible in 1 year reading plan which is available online. Take print outs.
While he reads, all members could try and see what that the passage means to them. each member can share their findings and we could put the different parts together to get a beautiful summary.
4)Each member could read different portions of the Bible.
5)Discuss openly what are the prayer needs to pray for and start praying for them.
6)Then someone could lead in prayer. For those who don't know, it may be awkward at first but just like learning a new language,with regular practice we improve.
7)Find suitable Scriptures to back up your prayers for speedy answers! * Ref Thought Conditioners
8)Remember the other members of the family too in case they are not staying with us.
9)Another thing that could be done is when any member of the family is having difficulty they could ask the other members to pray for them. I like to ask my son to pray for me when I have a headache etc. The Lord loves children and will be sure to answer their prayers speedily!
Intercede - Pray for other people who come to your mind. You could even have a diary to note the needs.
10)Pray for the Church pastors and leaders.
11)Pray for the leaders , Nation & the World
12)Pray for missionaries doing Gods work in different places.
13)Pray for any specific needs that God puts on your heart. (Pray for the things you want to see change in your family.)
14) Read Psalms 91 and pray for angelic protection.When the family comes together in prayer, all enemy forces are driven out and angels come in. And there will be more unity, peace and love in the home.
14) Say the Lords prayer together.
15)By doing this on a regular basis we develop prayer as a life style and the children also learn that no matter what we face in life, there is a place where the family can come together and we can minister to one another. You would be surprised at the power our little family actually possesses!

Lets make a promise today friends, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."- Joshua 24:15 

Enjoy this beautiful song: (Its one of my personal favorites!)

As we continue this way, we will see miracles in every home.
And do remember us in ur family prayer! :)

Take care, God bless,
Sparky laurie


Monday, August 8, 2016

What is Faith?

Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope."
Hi friends,
Hope you’re doing well. Today I'd like to share something on Faith. What is the meaning of FAITH? Faith according to Philip Yancey means  "Trusting in Advance what will make sense only in Reverse." Lets take a look at Hebrews Chapter 11 which is the hallmark of faith chapter.
Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. God gave his approval to people in days of old because of Faith.

1)By Faith Abel's anointing was more acceptable than Cain's- Not that Abel was better or holier but his faith.
2)By Faith Enoch was taken up to Heaven without is impossible to please God without faith.Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is  God & that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.- The key is not He rewards perfect people but that He rewards those that genuinely seek Him.
3)By Faith Noah built an Ark to save his family from the flood.By faith He condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God's sight. God sees what no man sees in us, He sees our heart.
4)It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home & go to another land that God would give him as His inheritance. he went without knowing where he was going.- We got to walk on waves , doesn't matter we don't know where , but we know the One who is taking us there.:)
5)It was by faith that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child even though they were too old & Sarah was barren, Abraham believed that God would keep his promise. God can always be trusted. He does not change. He never lies. He will complete what he starts. As long as you know He said it, you can be sure, He will do it. 

All of these people mentioned above received God's approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. for God had far better things in mind... for we can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race."

Faith is the currency of Heaven!

Friends you may wonder who am I, without any theological training or credentials or any references to speak into your spiritual life? They even asked Jesus the Son of God , the same question. So it’s no surprise that you may doubt / question me. This is not about me , this is about Him. And truly speaking, we already know we are nothing without Him. But no one could deny the  power & authority of Jesus . A truly anointed man/ woman of God knows that it is God in them and not them. I am a carrier of His Glory! and choose to honor His presence more than anything in this world. Listen below to this video to understand more about being a carrier of His Glory and why God chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the so called wise! (1 Corin 1:27):

Our God is a Resurrector of Dead Dreams. Do you know how painful waiting can be…for your Dream to come true? Year after year after year … My dream has always been to serve the Lord. Right from my very childhood I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And that dream kept me going no matter what came against me.  I accepted the Lord in the year 1996 at a college camp and it is the music of REX band that actually captured my heart & led me to the Lord. Sharing below some of those songs that made me accept  Jesus as my Lord & Savior years back. Hope it blesses you. You can read my Testimony here.  CHRIST HAS NO BODY NOW BUT YOURS   GLORY GLORY LORD 

Yes Church, love makes us do the craziest things for the One we love! That’s why God Almighty sent His Only Begotten Son to die that painful , shameful death on the Cross of Calvary! He willingly died that death because He loved you that much .... Church, let us never allow that Sacrifice to be in vain…

I am so excited as I wait expectantly and in wonder about what He’s about to do ….and friend, our God has never ever disappointed me…J We will let you know how you can come and be part of this wonderful experience. Start where you are , with what you have…Be the light that God has created you to be. Shine brighter every day and friend , you're invited to be part of this movement to shine for Jesus where you are with what you have in your hand... Stay tuned for more… as He leads… in His time …in His way!
Like always,
Keep us in your prayers,
Sparky laurie

Monday, August 1, 2016

4 Keys to developing a Powerful Prayer Life!

Hi friends,
Hope you're doing fine. Sharing an article written recently for a magazine. Hope it blesses you! 
Note (The celebrities enlisted below are from Indian background as the church was from there. However, as we are Kingdom citizens, we have no racial or national parameters :)  you may choose any celebrity of your choice!)

4 Keys to Developing  a Powerful Prayer Life!

 Let me begin by asking you a question. Who is your favorite celebrity, the one who inspires you the most? Maybe a cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar or a film star like Amitabh Bachan or Rajnikanth, maybe a leader or maybe a woman icon like Kiran Bedi or PT Usha. Now suppose you get a free ticket to meet with your favorite celebrity for about 30 minutes, how excited you would be! What all preparations you would make! You would immediately start planning what to wear, where to go, what to ask. Also you would definitely carry your camera with you to take as many photos as you can to treasure the memories of that meeting forever.

Now let me ask you another question, what if instead of that celebrity, you got an invitation to have a friendly chat with the God of this Universe? What would be your reaction? Would you be as thrilled or maybe even afraid? Would you be making the same plans we discussed earlier? Most likely the answer is NO. We are given an Invitation every single day by the biggest and the best celebrity in the whole world, our Lord Almighty and yet sadly, most of us choose to either ignore or postpone His invitation to spend time with Him.
Some people may say, I’d be happy to accept the Invitation someday but not right now, I don’t feel ready enough. The truth is we will never be ready enough so let’s go to Him today just as we are. Others will say yes, I’d like to but what can I talk about? Here are 4 keys from my personal experience that may help you. God wants everyone of us to  develop our own close prayer walk with Him.

√ KEY NO 1 : A Time of  Prayer - 

We can pray whenever we feel like as God’s lines are never busy. However, it is a good discipline to set aside the first & last portion of our day for prayer. Gradually we will learn to make prayer our lifestyle meaning we connect with God all through our day for eg: when we are driving to work, when faced with challenges during the day, before our meals, etc. (Psa 5:3, Psa 3:5, Psa 4:8)

√KEY NO 2: A Place of Prayer- 

It is good to find a quiet & comfy place where there’s less chance of being distracted/ interrupted. (Math 6:6)”But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.”

√KEY NO 3: A Way of Prayer- 

There are no hard & fast rules for prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God from our heart & listening to what God has to say. The imp thing is to be honest & simple as God loves the childlike prayer the best. We don’t have to impress Him, He already knows us since He made us.(Jer 1:5) We can relax in His presence as He loves us just as we are. We can even ask the Lord to teach us to pray. In Math 6:9-13, we see the Lord’s prayer where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.

Let me share with you 4 main elements of a Powerful Prayer:

This can be summed up in the acronym ACTS- they are : Adoration , Confession, Thanksgiving & Supplication

a) Adoration: means praising & worshipping God for who He is – His attributes- Faithful (1 Corin 1:9, 2 Tim 2:13), Holy (Psalms 22:3, Isa 6:3), Sovereign (Job 42:2,Eph 1:11), Love (1 John 4:8, John 3:16) etc & what He does (His works). During this time, we can sing songs of Praise & Worship.

b) Confession: means looking into our life & checking if there is anything displeasing in the eyes of God. Ask Him to reveal that to us & to forgive us because of the holy blood of Jesus. (Psalm 139:23,24, I John 1:9)

c) Thanksgiving: means expressing our gratitude & thanks to God for His blessings in our life. (1 Thess 5:18)

d) Supplication: refers to our prayer requests to God. This can be for our needs or for the needs of others (Intercession) (1 Tim 2:1-3, Heb 5:7.)

√KEY NO: 4  A Record of Prayer- 

Journaling what God speaks to us or keeping a written record of our prayer requests and ticking them as God answers them can be a great source of encouragement in our prayer life. (Habakkuk 2:2)

I am sure that if we apply these principles, our prayer life will become such a joy that we will actually look forward to having more chats with our Heavenly Father.

Let me end with some favorite quotes on prayer:

Ø  Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Ø  “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”-The Kneeling Christian
Ø  “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” - Corrie Ten Boom
Ø  “Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.”- John Bunyan
Ø  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wishing you a blessed prayer life,
Sparky Laurie